Cognitive assessment of paediatric neurodegenerative disease

Blundell, James Michael (2015). Cognitive assessment of paediatric neurodegenerative disease. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Inherited metabolic diseases (IMD’s) are a large class of heterogeneous genetic disorders caused by dysfunction within a single pathway of intermediary metabolism. In many of these diseases, the dysfunction of metabolic enzymes leads to the accumulation of toxic metabolites which disrupts the normal development of the central nervous system. With the advent of treatments that positively influence neuropsychological outcomes, there is a need for sensitive and objective neuropsychological measures that allow patients to be systematically tracked in order to understand the efficacy of existing treatments.

In this thesis, a neuropsychological test battery consisting of attention, language and oculomotor measures was developed to accurately describe individual and developmental differences between IMD patients and healthy developing controls. The functioning of five diseases was examined: Morquio syndrome (\(N\) = 12), Hurler syndrome (\(N\) = 3), Maroteux-Lamy syndrome (\(N\) = 2), Tyrosinemia type I (\(N\) = 13) and Tyrosinemia type III (\(N\) = 5). Findings indicated that disease effects were not homogeneous across tasks, and that performance on the same tasks was not uniform across diseases. The obtained data offers a promising basis for understanding how biological factors influence the severity and timecourse of developmental effects in future research.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services


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